The Case Western Reserve University softball team suffered a pair of losses in Springfield, Ohio on Saturday, dropping the first game of a doubleheader at Wittenberg University 4-1, before falling 8-4 in the second contest of the day.
The sweep dropped the Spartans to 10-16 on the season, while Wittenberg raised its ledger to 15-2-1 with the two victories.
Game 1: Wittenberg 4, CWRU 1
A solo home run from sophomore Grace Tritchler proved to be the only run of the game for the Spartans, who fell to host Wittenberg 4-1 in the first contest of the doubleheader.
The game went scoreless through the first two and a half innings, before Wittenberg broke through in the bottom of the third, following a one-out triple from Lauren Buelow, and an RBI single from Loren Combs.
Tritchler evened the score at 1-1 with a solo home run to lead off the top of the fourth, her team-leading sixth of the season and her second in as many games.
The score remained tied until the bottom of the fifth, when Shannon Lance singled to drive in Combs, giving the Tigers a 2-1 lead. Wittenberg added a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth, and despite bringing the tying run to the plate in the top of the seventh, the Spartans were unable to score again.
CWRU junior Annie Wennerberg pitched the complete game in the loss, striking out nine and allowing three earned runs, while falling to 6-9 on the year. Chelsea Zang picked up the complete-game win for Wittenberg, allowing just the one run on three hits.
Game 2: Wittenberg 8, CWRU 4
A three-for-four game at the plate for sophomore Maren Waldner proved to not be enough for the Spartans in the second game of the day, as Case Western Reserve fell 8-4 to the Tigers in the late contest.
Wittenberg jumped out to an early lead in the game with a run in the first, three in the second, and one in the third, taking a 5-0 advantage into the fourth inning. The Spartans narrowed the lead to three in the top of the fourth, when sophomore Katie Wede doubled and scored on a single by Waldner, who later scored a run of her own on an RBI single from Wennerberg with two outs. However, a three-run bottom of the fourth extended the Tigers' lead to 8-2, and effectively put the game out of reach for Case Western Reserve.
The Spartans would again narrow the gap when two runners scored on an error in the top of the sixth, but CWRU would leave the bases loaded in the inning, and would not score again for the remainder of the game.
Wennerberg pitched well in relief in the game, striking out four batters in two scoreless innings, and allowing just one hit. Starter Katie Dzierwa took the loss, dropping to 1-4 on the year, while Abby Haab collected the win for Wittenberg to improve to 7-1.
Case Western Reserve is scheduled to return to Cleveland for its home opener next week, as the Spartans will play host to Hiram College for a doubleheader on Tuesday, March 29th, starting at 3:30 p.m.